2 years ago, Adrian MILEWSKI came to his Country Leader with the idea of leading a City Project in Szczecin as a leader of 2 stores. It was an innovative yet risky initiative, but he succeeded with his strong motivation and beliefs. Since then, many new City Leaders appear to provide more attractive jobs for employees, better offers and services for customers and achieve better results. These become possible because the City Leaders can make faster decisions locally in line with the principle of subsidiarity. Moreover, increasing local actions aligned with the Vision were taken in Decathlon Szczecin.
Virtual reality showroom
Decathlon Szczecin cooperates with a VR company in which the co-founder was a former Decathlonian to provide VR experiences for customers to try new sports in the store this year. Not only brand new experiences were brought to the customers, it also enabled an equal opportunity to disabled people and promote local living.
Stand-up paddle VR
90% of the people in Szczecin have never tried SUP before, so the team wanted to create a new experience for the customers in summer and let them try it before buying or renting the products. Everyone could use it as long as they are a Decathlon member. Disabled people could also enjoy it because most of them can swim in open water. Adrian MILEWSKI, City Leader of Decathlon Szczecin also organised a SUP event in Głębokie Lake to share his passion and promote the local spots in the city for swimming and practising water sports.
Due to the geographic limitation in Szczecin where there is no snow, people cannot go skiing locally. The team thought they could break this barrier by providing a VR experience in winter. Customers can try ski boots in the store and enjoy a virtual skiing experience. The team hopes that when people think of sports, they think about Decathlon. When they think of skiing, they think about the Decathlon Szczecin store.
Adrian and his team promote equality in sports and in the company, they have worked on different aspects:
- Improve offers for disabled people
- Recruit them in the team
- Launch a campaign for customers to buy and donate products to the people in need
- Organise an Open Day for disabled people to visit the store, where they introduce Decathlon’s history, values & purpose, and share work experience
Moreover, the team applied to Decathlon Foundation for funding 12 wheelchairs to a local wheelchair basketball team. Employment opportunities were also provided to the players with temporary contracts. Kacper was one of them and now works as a Basketball Sports Advisor in the store. Decathlon Szczecin has now included 6 people with disabilities as employees and ambassadors, which opens the door to other disabled people in the community. Teammates have also become more open to disabled customers.
Equipment donation to hospitals
During Covid-19, Decathlon Szczecin donated Easybreath masks and fitness equipment to the doctors and patients in the hospitals to combat the pandemic.
Future projects on second-hand products and site renovation
Polish people have the culture of recycling second-hand goods. The team is working on putting a Big Wardrobe at the store after Covid for circulating second-hand sports equipment and promoting Zero-Waste Living and Regenerative Economy. Users can donate and get sports equipment from the Wardrobe, and Decathlon Szczecin will provide repair service to give the products a second life.
Another big project will be renovating the area next to the store in Szczecin. The goal is to create a common playground for all people with or without disabilities to share their passions in sports. Users can practise sports like bikes, scooters and rollers in the area. Wheelchair users can also practise and readapt to the environment with natural obstacles. People who had injuries or surgeries and are undergoing rehabilitation will have more options than in the hospitals. More importantly, they can reintegrate into the community in an easier and more natural way.
“Vision is a great source of inspiration. It gives us a direction for Decathlon United and leaves space to think of what it means for our country. We can interpret Vision locally, we can choose strategies specific for our country. Subsidiarity enables us to take our own decisions and adapt Vision to our local needs.”
– David DERUANE, Leader of Decathlon Poland